Anti-wrinkle Cosmetic Treatment Options

You will not find face-lift listed in this discussion about wrinkle treatments. Doctors do not consider facelifts to be a technique for wrinkle treatment. A facelift will tighten facial skin, lift sagging jowls, and give a new contour to the facial features. This may give you a younger look, but wrinkles will require additional treatments. Read on...

Restylane glabellar lines


Botox has revolutionized the way we think about wrinkles: wrinkles can be erased and smoothed over, even if only temporarily. Botox can be injected into your forehead, neck, or laugh lines, nearly anywhere you have an unwanted wrinkle or crease. Botox works by temporarily freezing your muscles, making your body unable to form a wrinkle. The biggest downside: you will need injections every 3 to 4 months. Some consumers complain about "Botox fatigue" due to the need to repeatedly get new injections.

Botox alternatives

Botox has plenty of competition. Certainly, some consumers remain dedicated to collagen injections that have been around prior to Botox. Collagen-containing anti-aging injections like Cosmoderm or Zyderm are frequently used to fill in facial creases and folds.

Recent medical advances are giving rise to new injections claiming to be "better than Botox." These dermal fillers contain natural product ingredients like hyaluronic acid, which smoothes creases and wrinkles. Restylane is among the most popular hyaluronic acid-based treatments: it works by pumping up your skin tissue.

If you're thinking about Restylane, you may also want to investigate Juvederm, which is a new hyaluronic product that's similar to Restylane. One benefit these fillers offer is durability: they last often twice as long as Botox. They also, unlike Botox, give you a chance to address facial folds or creases that are not caused by expression lines. In other words, Restylane or Juvederm can help you get rid of wrinkles that are simply the effect of gravity, not of squinting in the sun.

Another class of facial fillers that last longer than hyaluronic acid are gels that contain small beads that help collagen grow and are thick enough to add significant cushioning to your skin. Radiesse contains tiny calcium particles similar to bone minerals. Sculptra uses polymer-based ingredients. The density of these cosmetic products makes them good fillers for facial depressions (like sunken cheeks) or deep wrinkles. Some plastic surgeons use these products for facial contouring procedures, like cheek augmentation.

Fat injection to fill wrinkles

An interesting twist to liposuction or a mini-liposuction is that some people opt to use the fat that just got sucked out from their thighs, buttock, or belly. This harvested fat can be re-injected into their face as a wrinkle treatment, typically to treat deep wrinkles around the mouth called nasolabial folds. Additional fat is usually stored by the doctor for a follow-up treatment.

When you consider that wrinkles result from the loss of fat, a fat injection, technically called microlipoinjection or fat transplant, makes sense. If someone has complained to you about the "marionette lines" around their mouth, know that this is caused by degradation of fat in their skin tissue. Replacing fat is temporary; the body naturally reabsorbs it. However, in some cases it can become permanent if your body develops a blood supply within the injected material.

Some doctors shy away from fat injections because the treated area can appear lumpy. Other fillers are usually preferred because fat injections cannot get rid of fine lines like crow's feet. Also, the upfront cost of harvesting the fat is expensive, costing as much as $2,500 for the procedure.

Laser surgery or light therapy treatment of wrinkles

Lasers are multipurpose devices that can work wonders on everything from hair removal to skin resurfacing to wrinkle or scar reduction. This wide range of treatments is made possible by simply varying the frequencies and wavelengths emitted by the laser device.

Since you will run across dozens of laser brands in advertising and doctor brochures, you should know that there are basically two types of lasers. First, there's the Yag or Pulsed dye laser. This laser produces heat on the surface of your skin that stimulates your body to produce new collagen, which fills in wrinkles. The second type of laser is called an ablative or CO2 laser. These lasers remove the top layer of your skin. This causes your body to go into repair mode and produce fresh, undamaged, wrinkle- and line-free skin. CO2 laser skin resurfacing is an invasive procedure that will give you dramatic anti-wrinkle results but requires substantial recovery time (up to 2 weeks).

Fotofacial and Photoderm are other wrinkle treatments, similar to lasers, that use Intense Pulsed Light (IPL). The light triggers your skin to regenerate collagen which reduces the appearance of fine-to-medium depth wrinkles. LED (light emitting diodes) devices like Gentlewaves generate energy levels less than a 25 watt light bulb to treat wrinkles, facial lines, and sun damaged skin. LED treatments work well for people with dark skin tones because the light energy does not target melanin (pigment in your skin).

Chemical Peel for wrinkle removal

Similar to lasers, chemical peels come in a variety of strengths (superficial to deep) with healing time that varies according to how strong the peel is. It takes several days after a treatment session for your "old" skin to darken and then peel away (much like a bad sunburn), but then fresh un-damaged skin will emerge. It is often said that 5 to 6 mild or superficial peels is equal to one medium-deep peel.

Superficial peels like Green peels, AHA or BHA peels are often done at home, in a spa or with an aesthetician. TCA peels like the Obagi Blue system are deeper, will take about 10 days to heal completely, and are done by a medical professional. Phenol peels are the deepest and require sedation and heart monitoring. They are done to remove deep wrinkles, acne scars, and age spots. The phenol peel is serious stuff; it removes your melanin which means you cannot tan in the future and your skin on your face will not match the skin on your neck.

Advice: start out with less powerful peels.

Dermabrasion and Skin resurfacing

Mechanically removing the top layer of your skin, or a super strength exfoliation, is often all you need to get the anti-aging skin care results you want. Three popular skin resurfacing procedures are microdermabrasion, dermaplaning and dermabrasion. All of these procedures work by removing your damaged skin layer. This lessens the appearance of shadows and valleys in the skin and also enables your body to produce new collagen and refreshed skin cells.

Microdermabrasion is the gentlest form of this type of exfoliation. During microdermabrasion tiny crystals are sprayed onto your face and then quickly sucked back up with a vacuum-like device. There is no downtime with microdermabrasion and you may need multiple treatments to get desired results.

Dermaplaning is done with a hand-held instrument called a dermatome. A dermatome looks a lot like an electric razor, with an oscillating blade that moves back and forth to evenly skim off the surface layers of skin.

Dermabrasion uses a high-speed rotary instrument with an abrasive wheel or brush to remove the upper layers of the skin. The scraping continues until your dermatologist reaches the safest level that will make the scar or wrinkle less visible, which improves facial contours and irregularities in the skin surface. While your skin is healing from either the dermabrasion or dermaplaning you may wear a wet or waxy dressing for several days to protect your new skin.

Thermage for wrinkles

Thermage is an increasingly popular anti-aging skin care treatment that uses radio frequency energy to firm your skin and give you a more youthful, refreshed appearance. Thermage is used primarily to tighten sagging skin but can also diminish fine wrinkles. The process works in a similar way to a laser treatment: heat is used to encourage the production of collagen which fills out wrinkles.

Natural wrinkle treatment methods

Rejuvanessence is a natural massage and acupuncture technique that uses ancient methods to increase energy and blood flow to the skin. By increasing the blood flow to the skin, the premise is that the skin will turn over faster and produce smoother skin with fewer wrinkles. Acupuncture facelift is another technique that can relax facial muscles and deliver subtle results with repeat treatments but will not deliver dramatic or permanent results.


Last but not least, facials are a therapeutic means of maintaining and repairing your skin. A facial won't smooth out significant wrinkles, but they're important to skin tone and texture.